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kittens in the garage [message #558547] Sat, 23 June 2012 13:00 Go to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7990
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
When I opened the door from my kitchen to my garage, I caught a glimpse of something running out of the garage, just enough to see one white hind paw. I went back through the house and looked around outside the garage and didn't see anything. I came back inside and opened the door from the kitchen to the garage very slowly and quietly and saw one gray and white kitten and one black and white kitten run out of the garage. They look old enough that they must be weaned. I did not see any others or any mother cat. I looked outside again and could not find anything. I don't know whose they are or where they came from or if there are more. Apparently, every time I look inside they go outside and every time I go outside they go inside. Here we go again! The only 2 outdoor cats that I have seen this year and both males, so I think either some neighbor got some new kittens and let them loose outside and they went exploring or somebody is dumping cats on my property again.

Re: kittens in the garage [message #558560 is a reply to message #558547] Sat, 23 June 2012 17:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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Registered: June 2005
Location: Croatia, Europe
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Perhaps you should put a sign on the fence, something like

Cat dumpers will be shot.
Survivors will be shot again.
Re: kittens in the garage [message #558587 is a reply to message #558560] Sun, 24 June 2012 10:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7990
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
I checked on the kittens periodically throughout the day yesterday. They seemed to get a little less afraid of me and, although I could not get near them, they would stick their heads out from hiding places. By yesterday evening, I had seen three gray and white heads at the same time. So, apparently there are three gray and white kittens and one black and white kitten. So, there are at least four kittens. I saw one of the gray and white kittens eating some of the canned cat food that I put in a bowl, so at least they are old enough to eat.

Late yesterday evening, I saw the gray and white tomcat that has been around for years and seems to come and go from somewhere to the north. The kittens look just like him and they seemed quite comfortable around him, so I think he must be their father. I now suspect that the night before last the kittens decided to follow their father as he roams the neighborhood, got tired, and spent the day in my garage. This morning I did not see any kittens, so I suspect the kittens followed the tomcat home again, wherever that is, last night.

Then, later this morning, I saw one gray and white kitten in the garage again and also saw the tomcat. I can't be sure if just one kitten followed him again today, or if the others are hiding in the garage somewhere. I watched the tomcat as he left and, as usual, he went north along the edge of the road, just outside everyone's front yard fences, but no kittens were following him.

I will continue to check my garage periodically and wait to see what happens. If the tomcat shows up again tomorrow morning, instead of just watching him leave, I may follow him on foot and see if I can find out where he goes and find an owner and see if the kittens live there. A long time ago, I remember a man that said he lives to the north and around the corner to the east, was looking for a missing black and white kitten. I suspect that is where the tomcat and these kittens come from. He said he was looking for it because it had problems and needed medication.

I am hoping that these kittens have a home, but I would like to find and speak to the owner about spaying and neutering. If I see that isn't being done, then I need to try to get friendly enough with these that I can catch them and take them to be spayed and neutered before they are old enough to have kittens, then let them loose again.

I prefer to have my cats where they are safe from cars and dogs and such, but I know many people like to let their cats roam. I don't have a problem with such cats coming to visit and they are welcome to all the gophers and rats they can catch. I just like to make sure they have a home and are being cared for. A lot of people work Monday through Friday and get up very early in the morning during the week and feed their outdoor cats before they leave. A lot of those same people sleep in late on the weekend, but the cats expect breakfast at the same time, so they go looking elsewhere. I suspect that may be what happened here. The tomcat knew where to go and the kittens followed. He was probably showing the youngsters where to find good gopher hunting, cool grass under shady trees on hot days, and if hunting is bad, you go into the garage, meow at the lady when she opens the kitchen door, and she'll bring you a bowl of food.
Re: kittens in the garage [message #558590 is a reply to message #558587] Sun, 24 June 2012 11:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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Registered: June 2005
Location: Croatia, Europe
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LOL! Now say that cats aren't smart, if you dare!
Re: kittens in the garage [message #558675 is a reply to message #558590] Mon, 25 June 2012 13:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7990
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
This morning there was a black and white cat that I just caught a glimpse of, that I think is the mother cat. The tomcat and four kittens were also here. The mother cat is so quick that I think she may have been with the kittens all along and just runs and hides so fast that I had not seen her before. It may have been her hind paw or the end of her tail that I originally saw Saturday morning. Shortly after I saw all of them together this morning, they all disappeared again.

I am beginning to contact neighbors one by one to try to find out where they live. The kittens look like the tomcat and he is friendly with them, so I think that, not only is he the father, but they must have grown up with him and come from the same place. Obviously, the mother must also come from there. I have seen the tomcat go to the north when he leaves here and go past the next two houses, so I think they all must come from somewhere further to the north.

A long time ago, there was a man that was looking for a missing black and white kitten and he said that he lives to the north and around the corner to the east. It sounded like his mother cat went roaming with her kittens and came back missing one. I suspect that these come from the same place. I had planned to try to follow them this morning, but it is hard to predict how long they will sit and when they will leave, and they disappeared, without me seeing which way they went.

The lady next door is complaining that the tomcat is fighting with her cat. I get stuck in the middle with other people's cats fighting on my property. In the past, she has refused to believe that other people's cats in my yard are not mine and has said she was going to call animal control and complain. She followed me along the fence, screaming obscenities at me. It looks like I may be about to have this sort of problem with her again.

In the past, I have also had problems with other people's chickens in my yard. Animal control showed up and refused to believe the chickens weren't mine and told me that if I did not either confine them or find some way to get rid of them that they would issue me a citation and I would have to pay a fine and would still be responsible for confining them or getting rid of them. I found a guy that sells chickens and got him to come and round them up and take them away. He had to make several trips, as the neighbors kept raising baby chickens, then letting them roam and multiply. I told animal control where the chickens came from and they refused to go and talk to them. First they said that the neighbors didn't speak English, which wasn't true, then they said that their family owns half the neighborhood, which is true, but doesn't give them the right to make other people responsible for the problems they create.

If the women next door calls and complains about the cats and animal control has the same attitude, I could end up having to trap all of them, have them spayed, neutered, vaccinated, and micro-chipped, and keep them indoors. I already have 4 cats, the legal limit is 9 cats, and the last thing I need is 6 more cats. It is not right that I keep getting stuck in the middle. I could let animal control trap them and take them away, but they would automatically declare them feral and immediately kill them all, without any attempt to find an owner or adopt them. I am already overwhelmed with too many other problems, so this is about the last thing I need right now.
Re: kittens in the garage [message #558810 is a reply to message #558675] Tue, 26 June 2012 13:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7990
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
Last night the tomcat and 2 kittens appeared again and were still there in the morning, then disappeared again. I am guessing that my garage must be a nicer place to spend the night than whatever they have where they live. So, it looks like I can expect them to appear each night, then leave each morning.

I went out to run a brief errand this morning. On the way back, I saw a woman walking out into the street in front of me and pointing at something off to the side of the road. I slowed down and saw that there was an injured dog on the side of the road. I pulled over and got out and the woman walked away. The dog was a little tan chihuahua with no collar. The left eye was bulging out and it was staggering around and falling over. I tried to pet it to see if it was friendly, but it growled and tried to bite. It might have been a friendly dog, but was just that way because it was scared and in pain, but I figured I couldn't handle it safely myself. I managed to herd it out of the roadway and onto the dirt shoulder, then went about looking for a nearby owner.

I saw one man standing at the end of a driveway nearby, so I stopped and told him about the injured dog and asked him if it was his or if he knew whose it was. He just stood there and stared at me for a while, like he wash shocked that a stranger would even walk up to him and talk to him, so I asked him if he understood me. He eventually responded and said it wasn't his and he was certain that it did not belong to anybody on that section of road. The other side of the street is vacant land along the edge of an offshoot of the Santa Ana river. It was at a t-intersection, so I started going door to door along the other street, which is a cross-street of the street that I live on. Even though it is only a few blocks from where I live, I do not know anybody there. Some places did not answer the door and may have been asleep or not home. Other places had fences with locked gates and other dogs in the yard, so I could not get to the door. At those places, I just shouted out, "Hello, is anybody home?" a few times. One person responded through the window. There were a few people driving by and walking by and jogging by and riding bicycles by. I asked everyone that would stop, but nobody knew where the dog lived.

Eventually, I figured my only option left was to call animal control. Even though I figured they will probably kill it, it looked like it would likely die anyhow and it would be better to call them, than leave it there to die a slow, miserable death. I used 411 connect on my cell phone to get animal control. I asked about how long it be and they said, "soon enough" and that they don't estimated response times. Even as I was calling, I continued to wave people down.

One jogger stopped and was the only one who stayed for a while. My neighbor from across the street drove by, stopped and asked about it, then drove on. I stood where my shadow provided some shade for the dog and was able to pet it a little, but did not try to pick it up or move it. I figured I could at least keep it from wandering back into traffic again or getting eaten by a bigger dog. There were 2 large dogs running loose on the same street. Also, I figured if I left, animal control might not even find it in the bushes on the side of the road. So, I stayed and waited. 38 minutes after I called, animal control arrived and, by that time the dog was weaker, and he was able to wrap it in a blanket. As usual, he said that he would take it to their veterinarian, that they have them at the shelter now, but added that it wasn't looking too good. I said goodbye to the dog and wished it good luck and thanked the animal control officer for coming. I didn't try to follow them or find out what happened to it this time.

I got to thinking that if the animal control officer wrapped it in a blanket, I could have done the same, but at the time that I called, I don't think that was a possibility, and I didn't know the dog would weaken that fast. I think I did the best that I could.

In the midst of it all, I found myself pondering what a neighborhood we live in where most people don't know one another and are afraid to stop to talk to a person or answer their door. There are so many criminals and crazy people around here. I know when I first saw the woman in the roadway, I thought maybe she was a local crazy woman who runs around stopping cars. Some of them want money, some of them ask for a light for their cigarette. A lot of things are common ruses to get you to stop, so they can try to rob you. As I approached people, I could see that they were looking at me with the same sort of distrust. Knowing how that is, I try to approach slowly and stop and speak from a distance away, in order to make them feel safer. I noticed one woman, when she saw me coming and saying hello, just shook her head and began walking on the other side of the road. Most people won't answer their door when a stranger knocks. It is a common ruse to have a woman knock on the door, looking like she is alone, asking for help with something, then as soon as you open the door, a bunch of guys waiting out of sight, rush in, and you are the victim of a home invasion robbery. So, I understand the mistrust.

The jogger was the only one that seemed to be a trusting sort, or at least, being a young healthy male, wasn't afraid of a 5-foot 4-inch tall woman with mostly gray hair in a french braid, wearing a tank top, shorts, sandals, and a fanny pack (or bum bag as they call it in the UK). When I asked him if he knew whose it was, he stopped and said he didn't. He said he lived on the cross-street and said he knew it didn't belong to any of his close neighbors. He said he was a paramedic and was at the end of his morning run and stayed as long as he could and we had a pleasant conversation, mostly about different kinds of animals that we have had. He introduced himself as Brandon and stuck his hand out very slowly and we shook. I think he stuck it out very slowly because most strangers around here won't let you get close enough to shake hands. I am pretty good and reading people and figured he was alright. Hopefully, I have made a new friend and if we see each other on the road or in the grocery store or whatever we will wave or stop and chat.

Well, kittens, cats, dogs, people, whatever, it's another day on the green side of the grass for me.
Re: kittens in the garage [message #558861 is a reply to message #558810] Wed, 27 June 2012 00:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
Messages: 19648
Registered: June 2005
Location: Croatia, Europe
Senior Member
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Did you ever consider to become a professional writer? If not, maybe you should.
Re: kittens in the garage [message #558866 is a reply to message #558861] Wed, 27 June 2012 00:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7990
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
Littlefoot wrote on Tue, 26 June 2012 22:42
Did you ever consider to become a professional writer? If not, maybe you should.


I have thought about it in more recent times, but I'm not sure where I would start or find the time. Maybe someday.


Re: kittens in the garage [message #558869 is a reply to message #558866] Wed, 27 June 2012 01:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
Messages: 19648
Registered: June 2005
Location: Croatia, Europe
Senior Member
Account Moderator
Start right here, in the Community Hangout - just browse through your messages and collect the ones that would make part of your future novel (or collection of short stories or whatever it would be).
Re: kittens in the garage [message #559741 is a reply to message #558810] Thu, 05 July 2012 16:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ora1980
Messages: 251
Registered: May 2008
Senior Member
more than anything else I enjoyed you guessing who the mother cat and father cat were Smile
Re: kittens in the garage [message #559758 is a reply to message #559741] Thu, 05 July 2012 23:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7990
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
I haven't seen any kittens or mother cat since the weekend that they spent in my garage. Hopefully they all went home, wherever that is, are being cared for, and the owner will have the mother cat spayed and spay and neuter the kittens when they are old enough. Although they were adorable, I am happy that I don't have to deal with the problem of catching them and taking them to get spayed and neutered.

The gray and white tomcat continues to drop by from time to time. Tuesday morning, as I was watering my front yard, I saw him leaving and heading north, so I tried to follow him on foot. By the time I turned off the hose, locked the front door, and got out the gate, I lost sight of him. I walked north, then around the corner to the east, where I suspect he comes from, but never saw him. He was back again this morning (Thursday), but I didn't see when he left. Hopefully, one of these days, I will see him leaving, and be quick enough to follow him. Wouldn't it be nice if I could use something like Google Earth live with enough resolution and angles to just sit here at my computer and watch where he goes?

Re: kittens in the garage [message #559914 is a reply to message #559758] Sat, 07 July 2012 11:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7990
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
I got lucky this morning and spotted the gray and white tomcat as he was leaving, headed north, and managed to be a little quicker at locking the front door and getting out the gate and followed him. He went north past the next three houses, then under the gate at the last house before the corner house. The house that he went under the gate at has been abandoned since the owner died about a year ago. I am pretty sure that he did not have any pets, so I don't think he lived there. He went down the driveway along the south side of the house to the back of the property. There are padlocks on the gates, so I couldn't follow him any further, and lost sight of him there. It looked like he was taking a shortcut through that property around the corner house, probably headed for a house east of there on the cross-street, where I think the mother cat and kittens live. He might live there or might just hang out there frequently, because of the mother cat and kittens. There is no point in trying to follow him again, since I have now followed as far as I can, so where he comes from will probably remain a mystery. I have only seen him leave to the north. I have never seen him arrive and just assume he comes from the same direction. He could just be circling the block for all I know.

Re: kittens in the garage [message #559917 is a reply to message #559914] Sat, 07 July 2012 11:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
John Watson
Messages: 4610
Registered: January 2010
Location: Global Village
Senior Member
I think that a feral cat, which may be your Tom counts as, can have a fair sized territory: perhaps a kilometer or so across. My only encounter with a feral cat was some time ago, on the plot we had outside Johannesburg. In that area, all the plots are a hectare or more so it was pretty rural. After we and the neighbours had seen it a few times and were sure it was a cat (not a mongoose, for instance) I borrowed a cat trap from the SPCA and eventually we caught her, and took her to to be sterilized. That was a mission! It took three people to hold her down before the vet could get a knockout jab into her. Afterwards, we had to keep her in a spare room for a few days (the cat, not the vet). Couldn't get near her. Then one evening we opened the window, and she was gone the next morning. Saw her a couple of times again, but I think she avoided our plot after that.

[Updated on: Sat, 07 July 2012 11:37]

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Re: kittens in the garage [message #559918 is a reply to message #559917] Sat, 07 July 2012 11:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7990
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
I had one cat that was not feral and was a sweet lovable lap kitty at home, but every vet found him impossible to handle. Multiple times they had to resort to sedating him. Instead of trying to hold him down to inject him, they put him in a box and let some kind of gas into the box to sedate him. He would get so frazzled at the vet that even I couldn't handle him there and it took me half an hour once to coax him down from the top of a cabinet he jumped onto. At home, in a calm environment, I could give him oral medications and subcutaneous injections myself. So, the procedure was that the vet would sedate him, get whatever tests or procedures needed to be done quickly, all at once, then give me the medications for me to give them to him at home.

There used to be another tomcat around here, but he died. Once when I was driving home, I saw him way down on the cross-street to the south, walking up a driveway. There was somebody doing yardwork in the from yard, so I stopped and asked if it was his cat. He said no. I asked if he knew whose it was and he said no again and added that he didn't think it belonged to any nearby neighbors. I suspect that cat may have been circling the block or even further. Most of the original blocks around here, before they were sub-divided every which way, each consisted of 6 two-acre lots, so most blocks are about 12 acres. My place is one of the smaller 1/4 acre sub-divided lots.
Re: kittens in the garage [message #559920 is a reply to message #559917] Sat, 07 July 2012 11:57 Go to previous message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7990
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
John Watson wrote on Sat, 07 July 2012 09:32


... Afterwards, we had to keep her in a spare room for a few days (the cat, not the vet). ...


That reminds me of an equine (horse) hospital that I went to once, where I heard them talking about "intern spay and neuter night", to which I responded, "They spay and neuter the interns?" Apparently, a lot of stray cats tended to hang around the hospital and each group of veterinary interns would spend one night trapping, spaying, and neutering the stray cats, not each other.

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